Nurse practitioners are slowly becoming the go-to primary care providers for people. As a result, a nurse should know how to provide patients with extensive healthcare services while blending professionalism with a personal touch. There are over 290,000 registered nurses working across the US alone. And this statistic is rising, with around 20,000 students graduating from nursing school each year.
However, not every nursing student/professional may have the skills and knowledge needed to provide top-tier patient care. So, when practicing as a nurse, you need to hone a few skills to stand out among the crowd as an excellent care provider. That said, listed below are a few traits that will help you become a better care provider and help you thrive in the profession.
Adopt a love for lifelong learning
Any person working as a nurse knows the work is evolving day by day. So you need to remain up-to-date with the latest developments related to the profession. It will help you provide better care to patients and be competitive. Learning more will enhance your intellect, critical thinking, and decision-making skills. You can quench your love for lifelong learning in numerous ways.
For instance, you can enroll in an RN to BSN online degree to upskill your nursing practice and take on more responsibilities. Going the online route will enable you to study alongside practicing in a healthcare facility. By pursuing higher education, you will become more competent as a nurse and provide your patients with better care.
If you already have a bachelor’s degree, you can opt for advanced qualifications such as a Graduate Certificate in Nursing, Master of Science in Nursing (MSN), or a Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP). Other ways of enhancing your knowledge include reading, conducting research, and attending medical/nursing workshops and seminars.
Become physically fit
As a nurse, you will remain on your feet for the better half of your shift. While healthcare providers go above and beyond to keep their patients safe, your safety as a professional is still in your hands. Nurses who exercise regularly to build up their stamina can go on for hours on a shift, especially during night shifts. Not to mention, being physically fit drastically reduces your risk of injuries and increases your agility on the job. It will help you avoid drowsiness and committing medical blunders.
If you’re looking to work in a less physically straining nursing job, consider an administrative career choice, like a nurse administrator or nurse educator. However, consider improving your stamina if you want to provide care to your patients without breaking a sweat. Consider staying healthy by indulging in fitness-related activities such as walking, jogging, yoga, and weight/muscle training.
Show empathy towards patients
Empathetic nurses always know what their patients are experiencing regardless of their medical condition. Typically, this relates to putting yourself in the patients’ shoes and understanding their pain.
So, be compassionate when treating patients. Understand what they are going through and solve their problems by providing the best possible care. Avoid getting angry at difficult-to-handle patients and discounting their experiences. Only by showing empathy and compassion will you be able to foster a strong nurse-patient bond crucial for the healing journey.
Improve your critical thinking skills
With the help of critical thinking, nurses can identify rational and practical solutions to patients’ health-related issues. Such an approach is a tried and tested technique to prioritize patients’ wants and needs, solve problems, and assess information accurately. For instance, there will come times when you have to use your critical thinking skills to identify whether a patient is experiencing a heart attack or just chest pain.
Critical thinking skills are vital for every nurse looking to make better, more-informed care delivery decisions and ensure autonomy. The ability to stand on your own and think out-of-the-box will help you defuse a high-impact situation into a low-impact one.
Become an effective communicator
For a nurse to become a good care provider, practical communication skills are a must-have. While working as a nurse, you will probably liaise between patients, their families, and other healthcare professionals involved in the caregiving process. Moreover, you will have to gather patient information and share it with other medical workers to design an effective treatment plan. Miscommunication, such as incomplete prescriptions, inaccurate test result data, and incomplete patient data, will affect your patient’s health.
Therefore, to ensure everyone involved in the caregiving process is on the same page, you must record, present, and analyze patient information properly. Double-check everything before passing information on. Also, you must hone your active listening and oral communication skills to avoid confusion when conversing with patients, attendants, and other professionals.
Become more tenacious
Tenacious nurses are determined, professionals. They will persevere and thrive to reach their career goals and objectives no matter what. Meaning, you will have to do everything in your power to further your nursing career, regardless of the obstacles you face. Being tenacious will ensure you never quit and remain persistent. At times, you might even have to bend a few rules and prioritize patient care against healthcare facility policies.
If you want to become a more tenacious nurse, consider participating in the AANP’s lobby efforts. The organization advocates for nurses across the United States to have full practice authority in various healthcare settings.
Any person can become an excellent care provider if they allow their abilities and skills to shine through their practice, let alone a nurse. However, it is best to practice your nursing craft in a work environment that allows you to polish your nursing skills and attain growth in the process. It is also wise to stay updated on the latest nursing trends, knowledge, and healthcare technologies crucial to improving patient care processes. So, whatever approach you decide to take, the more you learn, the more well-prepared you will be to offer high-quality care to your patients.